What’s the difference between Long Term Care and Assisted Living?

Navigating the senior living industry can be confusing and overwhelming. Typically, you don’t begin researching the topic until you need it. Often, we are asked which level of care would be appropriate for a senior. Our D’Iberville, MS campus offers multiple levels of care – including Long Term Care and Assisted Living. Here are some key differences in the two:

ADL Necessity & Care Levels

At both levels of senior care, residents may receive ADL (activities of daily living) assistance. The frequency and extent of this assistance typically dictates which care level is most appropriate. Those at the Assisted Living level may require help getting into/out of the shower safely, help with their shoes, or help with medication. Long Term Care residents typically require more extensive assistance with ADLs. These residents might need help getting into the shower and with bathing. They may need help dressing themselves entirely. They may require complete incontinence care.

Dietary Requirements

Both care levels provide three daily meals for residents. Dietary needs and preferences may vary for seniors. In Long-Term Care environments, dietary accommodations can include tube feeding, pureed diets, and more. On the other hand, Assisted Living Communities are able to prepare meals that accommodate low sugar, no added salt, and similar diets.

Financial Differences

Long Term Care insurance often aides in the cost of both levels of care. However, health insurance policies do not cover the cost of either long term care or assisted living. In most cases, these expenses are paid out of pocket. For those that qualify, Long Term Care Medicaid is available to residents of Long-Term Care facilities, but not those of assisted living.

In short, care is similar at each level. The primary difference is the degree to which care is needed. Generally, seniors appropriate for assisted living are more independent than those requiring long term care. If you’re still uncertain what level is best for you or your loved one, give us a call!